"The Beautiful Dark Side of Life" (Spinefarm; 2023)

Reviewed by Snidermann

I have been a fan of the band Atreyu for twenty years and why shouldn't I dig a band named after a character from one of my fave movies, "The Neverending Story." (Look it up, if you are interested.)

After all these year's, Atreyu is still tight and more than a little heavy. As I listened to "The Beautiful Dark Side of Life," I sing the hooks and toe tap to the beat. There aren't many bands you can say that about. The music is in-your-face, using everything to make the music not only more intense, but relevant as well.

Simply one of the best bands I've had the pleasure of listening to and this album is another dose of their great, raw music that makes me happy as a student of heavy music. Atreyu is on my list to see live. At this point, I can only imagine how great they must be.

If you like your music full of angst and a shitload of attitude, Atreyu is right up your alley. Simply put, Atreyu is a great fucking band and "The Beautiful Dark Side of Life" is a great fucking album.

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"Baptize" (Spinefarm; 2012)

Reviewed by Snidermann

As you can tell from the reviews below, I've been into Atreyu for quite some time. Their latest recording, "Baptize," is simply one of the best metal recordings I have listened to in the last year. It is tight, loud and in-your-face � just like a good metal recording should be. This shit is hot, with great metal and no end in sight. From start to finish this music is another entity and is unlike anything I have ever witnessed before.

"Baptize" took me by surprise. It was much better than I though it would be and I thought it would be great. But it kicks metal ass from start to finish. I am three times through this recording already and I have to say it gets better each time through.

This shit is deep, even when one of the songs is simply called "Fuck" (and they use that word a lot in this song) and, by the end, you will be screaming the chorus.

There is a wide variety of songs here, not just metal. There's a soft side that goes deep and transports itself into another dimension. Highly singable throughout, likable and fun. Not too many metals acts can say that.

Fifteen songs and not a dud amongst them. A great fucking metal release and simply outstanding!

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"Lead Sails Paper Anchor" (Hollywood Records; 2007)

Reviewed by Snidermann

Atreyu. I reviewed their "A Death-Grip on Yesterday" in 2006 and I feel the same about the band then as I do now, I dig 'em. If you're wondering where the band's name comes from, it's from the 1984 movie "The Neverending Story" (simply one of my favorite movies of all time).

"Lead Sails Paper Anchor" was released in 2007. The music is loud and big and from the beginning you know there's something behind the music. It can be soft and melodic when is needed and they rock like a bitch when it's time to do so.

Just like they did in their 2006 recording, the band really shows its range here. They are a product of their time: the lyrics are well thought-out, the production value is good, the musicianship great, and the music kicks ass from the first track to the last. It makes the mind expand as to what defines heavy music.

I've never had the opportunity to see Atreyu live but I can imagine they put on a great show. The band has been labeled "metalcore" on the internet. Whatever. I'll just call them fucking awesome.

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"A Death-Grip on Yesterday" (Victory Records; 2006)

Reviewed by Snidermann

Atreyu's "A Death-Grip On Yesterday" is an action-packed, fun to listen to rock'n'roll ride that is both entertaining and very well executed. 

I'd heard tracks from Atreyu before, but had never listened to an entire release. I was blown away by the scope and talent overall of this band as displayed on "A Death-Grip on Yesterday." 

The songwriting is the work of real talent and 80% of the time it really worked. As for the other 20%, well, I sometimes found it banal and a little bit boring. Don't get me wrong. I really liked "A Death Grip on Yesterday" and, frankly, for any band to hold my attention for an entire release is truly something. 

Bottom line, Atreyu's "A Death-Grip On Yesterday" is a solid performance despite the fact that two or three tracks could have easily been excised.

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"The Curse" (Victory Records; 2004)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

It goes without saying that my review of Atreyu's "Suicide Notes and Butterfly Kisses" was pretty much on the mark as far as my prediction about it not getting heavy rotation in my CD player; in fact, I probably only listened to it twice more shortly after its release. Before reviewing the band's latest effort, "The Curse," I decided to give "Suicide Notes and Butterfly Kisses" a spin to refresh my memory. It's safe to say that "Suicide Notes and Butterfly Kisses" is a lot more melodic and a whole lot less chaotic than my screwy head imagined it to be. In fact, I liked it quite a bit this time around � perhaps not enough to change my original two and a half chainsaw rating, but enough to warrant more frequent spins in the future.

After a nearly two-year wait, Atreyu's latest effort "The Curse" arrives on the heels of ongoing critical acclaim and appearances at the 2004 version of OzzFest. Atreyu are keeping pretty good company these days, don't you think?

I am always wary of metal bands that have 'singles' and Atreyu offer "Right Side Of The Bed" as a single (no doubt in hope of gaining airplay). "Right Side Of The Bed" certainly has a slick chorus that veers dangerously close to Killswitch Engage, but is counterbalanced perfectly by impassioned and anguished guttural growls. Haste is another band that comes to mind due to the abundance of (and seemingly appropriate) clean vocals that enhance the tracks on "The Curse" whereas they were a bit of a misplaced distraction on "Suicide Notes and Butterfly Kisses." It's not until a track like "Corseting" that Atreyu evoke the sound of their debut.

Overall, on "The Curse," Atreyu have polished their sound that they so expertly debuted on "Suicide Notes and Butterfly Kisses." One would normally expect this to occur with a band with more studio and concert experience, but the added dimension of "The Curse" is a healthy confidence that should bode well for the band's future.

"The Curse" was produced by GGGarth.

Atreyu: Alex Varkatzas on vocals, Dan Jacobs and Travis Miguel on guitars, Mark McKnight on bass, and Brandon Saller on vocals and drums.

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"Suicide Notes and Butterfly Kisses" (Victory Records; 2002)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

Sounding very much like a hardcore band heavily influenced by Killswitch Engage and Darkest Hour, Atreyu's blend of hardcore, rock, and melodic metal is by no means original, but certainly part of the huge crest of bands riding the gruff vocals/melodic vocals version of heavy music that is proliferating the scene these days.

While "Suicide Notes and Butterfly Kisses" is decent, the ten tracks often seem crammed together with parts that sound cool enough, but too often not appropriate for what's going on around it - "Living Each Day Like You're Dead" is a prime example. I guess what I'm trying to say is that most of the tunes lack complementary riffs that make each song stand on its own. 

It's obvious that there is a lot of talent and potential in Atreyu. While I am certain I won't find time to replay "Suicide Notes and Butterfly Kisses," I am, however, very much interested in hearing this band progress in the future - especially since I think American bands have struck a nerve with the music buying public with this new form of music.

"Suicide Notes and Butterfly Kisses" was produced by Eric Rachel (Atomic Bitchwax, E-Town Concrete, God Forbid, Symphony X).

Atreyu is Alex Varkatzas on vocals, Dan Jacobs and Travis Miguel on guitars, Chris Thomson on bass, and Brandon Saller on drums and melody vocals.

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"Suicide Notes and Butterfly Kisses" (Victory Records; 2002)

Reviewed by Rose Grech

The efforts of Atreyu, out of Orange County, California, are a bit extreme, jumbled and overdone.

In "Suicide Notes and Butterfly Kisses," the guitar riffs speed past as though we were still in the 80s, where Van Halen and Iron Maiden were kings, with an overabundance of atrocious solos. The songs are harsh, scattershot and abruptly end, making it hard to believe you just heard a song.

Atreyu explores diverse dual vocals; one is ferocious, caustic and incoherent while the other tries to be melodic and harmonious. However, the menacing vocals overpower each song, while the tranquil one is heard more during the choruses. Despite their efforts, both vocals do not fit with the instrumental beats.

The allegorical lyrics, focusing on human growth struggle and the pain and desire of relationships, seem to be the only creative and amiable element in their music.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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